Hello readers! Any writers or readers out there who use characters in books (your own or otherwise) to live out your fantasies, to afford a sense of catharsis when she kicks ass, falls in love or moves on through a bad time? Well, Shea Berkley shares a few lessons she’s learned from her own heroes, heroines, and villains, as well as an excerpt from book #2 of her Keepers of Life Series – The Fallen Prince – the sequel to The Marked Son, which I featured here, and is a paranormal YA romance.
The Fallen Prince by Shea Berkley
Dylan finally feels like he has it all. He’s back home in the human realm with his beautiful girlfriend, loving grandparents, and some crazy powers over the elements. But Dylan’s temper is climbing out of control, and along with the bursts of rage come new powers he wasn’t expecting.
Kera has these new powers, too. She’s seen them before and knows what they can do if kept unchecked…and it’s not pretty. Plus, going back to her home realm, Teag, would hasten the process. Kera is determined to keep her one true love, Dylan, safe on Earth, but when the barrier between the human realm and Teag weakens, allowing monster-like creatures to pass over, Kera becomes desperate to protect her home.
When Kera is kidnapped and imprisoned in a corner of her world that no one has ever escaped from alive, can Dylan overcome his unbridled powers—and himself—to save her?
The Fallen Prince
The haze sucks me into a dream, something I’ve tried to avoid since the disturbing ones I had before I was released from the hospital. I’m standing in a darkly lit room. The faint shadow of a low bed stretches out near one wall. Closer to me is a small rickety table with basin and pitcher. The stone walls are slick. Water drips. The colors, all grays and browns and blacks, blink dully in the dim light. I hear the flutter of wings, and I whip around. “Who’s there?”
Nothing comes forward. My dreams always carry a sliver of fuzzy truth, and I struggle to find what’s real and what isn’t. The room shudders, like the walls are taking a deep breath.
It’s odd for me to be alone in a dream. I take a step forward, and immediately get jerked to a stop. Chains fold over my chest, drag to the floor, wrap around my ankles and slither off into the darkened corners. I shrug, feeling their weight pressing down on me.
I don’t know what they’re made of. Not iron. Whatever it is, the metal has its own power. Keeping me still. Weighing me down. Depressing me in a way that makes me want to curl up and never move again.
I fight the feeling and struggle to be free. The chains cut into my skin.
“The more you fight, the tighter they become,” sounds a deep voice.
I twirl around, and from out of the darkness emerges the man who haunted my dreams when I was in the hospital. Like before, his clothes are tattered, his hair shaggy. Inky crescents mar the skin beneath his eyes. The starved line to his jaw makes hunger gnaw at my own belly.
“Dylan. Do you know who I am?”
Only because Kera told me. “The Lost King.”
Baun. My father. Though I don’t feel any familial warmth toward him.
“Very good.” His lips tilt into a half smile, though his eyes remain dull. “I know all about you.”
Something isn’t right. My skin itches and my head feels soft. I have to concentrate in order to understand everything he’s saying.
His own chains clatter as he moves closer. “About now, you should be feeling the strain of your added powers.”
His face swims in front of mine, distorted like the image in a funhouse mirror. My stomach clenches, and I force myself not to bend over in pain. “What’s wrong with me? I’ve never felt like this before.”
Every time I visited Kera in our dream world, I’d felt invincible.
Baun moves closer. I try to step back, but the chains keep me still. He stops. “When you defeated Navar, you absorbed his powers, including those he stole from me.” He raises his hand and the surge of power trying to escape my body sends me to my knees, gasping for breath. His fingers glow softly and he breathes deeply as if savoring a top cut steak.
I groan, and he suddenly steps back. “My powers want to return to their rightful owner, but they can’t.”
He closes his eyes, murmurs something, and then opens his eyes. “Better?”
The strange feelings slowly dissipate. I nod.
“Do you know why I’ve brought you here, into my dreams?”
“You said before that I have something you want.” It didn’t take the collective effort of a bunch of astrophysicists to know what he meant. He wants his powers back.
Lessons I’ve Learned from My Hero/Heroine/Villain
By Shea Berkley
I don’t usually write a story thinking about the lesson I want to leave behind. I write mainly to entertain. Yet, I do believe part of the entertaining factor is the lesson you take away from a story. The Keepers of Life trilogy has many lessons woven within each book, but there’s one really good lesson I’ve learned from my characters in The Fallen Prince.
Power can corrupt.
Every one of my characters who have some kind of power, struggles with when and how to use that power. It is heady to know you can vaporize someone in five seconds when that person annoys you. To not vaporize someone who annoys you is the real test of power. I mean, it takes no thought or control at all to instantly vaporize someone if you have the ability, but to realize everyone at one point is going to annoy the heck out of you and to not vaporize that person shows real power. Because if you can do that, then you are in control, not your power.
It’s basically about what you can do versus what you should do. We should all be kind, but many people don’t even attempt at kindness because they’ve had a bad day, so they take it out on anyone who has the misfortune of entering their space. Being kind when you don’t feel like it is the real test of a person. Who’s in control? You or the outside forces that are trying to drag you down?
In The Fallen Prince, everyone one wants to drag Dylan down. They don’t trust him. They don’t even like him that much, yet they demand things from him that could seriously injure him or even kill him. He could easy say no. Get mad. Cause a scene. But instead, Dylan does what is right because, well…it’s the right thing to do. That’s what I love about him, and it’s that quality that shows he’s a real hero. Dylan does the right thing even if he’d rather vaporize everyone around him and say, “Problem solved,” and move on.
Yet, Dylan’s not perfect and neither is Kera. I think it’s important to show your character’s flaws in a story, because no one is perfect. Even the best people make mistakes, and both Dylan and Kera make horrible mistakes thinking they’re doing what’s right. They use their powers to help and in the end come very close to hurting everyone they love. There is something to be said for living in the moment, but when lives are at stake, being able to look into the future and see the effect of your decision, and denying yourself that moment of instant gratification, is really important. Dylan learns that lesson quickly, but only after making mistakes that cause serious consequences in the lives of the people he loves and has vowed to protect.
The Fallen Prince Links:
The Marked Son Links:
Check out the Blog Tour Schedule
June 10 – Fantasy Book Addict
June 10 – Books are my Life
June 11 – You Gotta Read Reviews
June 11 – book2book.ca
June 12 – Novels on the Run
June 13 – Sizzling Hot Books
June 14 – Fade Into Fantasy
June 17 – HERE! 🙂
June 18 – Reader Girls
June 19 – My Library in the Making
June 20 – Romance Junkies
June 21 – Urban Fantasy Investigations
June 24 – Bookworm Lisa
June 25 – The Hardcover Obsession
June 26 – A Little Bit of R&R
June 27 – Notes From a Romantics Heart
June 28 – The Cover Contessa
Thanks for stopping by. Have you read this series so far? Have an opinion of this YA series or its author?
Feel free to hop around the tour hosts for more about this book, including reviews.
What lessons have you learned via reading?